20 December 2009

Pavlova? or the 13 Desserts of Noel?

I've been looking for a special a dessert for our Christmas Eve celebration that is beautiful (of course!), delicious, simple, and that warms the spirit....and I found it! It's perfect!


This delightful dessert is a designer's dream! Egg whites whipped into a silken alabaster pouf, the meringue a crisp and delicate base, filled with whipped cream, (so far it's pristinely white) then topped with a gorgeous array of fruits: the tart green of kiwis, the ruby red of strawberries, the deep coral of raspberries, the indigo of blueberries, the tangerine of, well, tangerines!

Made in honor of the ballerina Anna Pavlova on her 1923 tour of New Zealand, it is the epitome of elegant ease. I think even the Provencales would forgive me not putting out the traditional 13 desserts* this Christmas Eve when they see this confection!

Pavlova it is!

the top view of luscious Pavlova, the perfect ending
to Christmas Eve dinner

what could be more inviting for dessert?

Thanks to House of Annie for the Pavlova recipe and photos! Or for the American version (easier to follow!) check out Ina Garten's recipe.


* Les Treize Desserts de Noel:

At Christmastime in Provence, in the south of France, there’s a tradition of having a Christmas meal consisting largely of vegetables, followed by 13 desserts. 13 signifies the number of people at the last supper – Christ and his 12 apostles. The table should be decorated with 3 candlesticks, representing the Trinity. The meal and dessert are eaten before the family goes to midnight mass on Christmas.

1. Black Nougats – Symbolizing evil – Hard candy made with honey and almonds.

2. White Nougats – Symbolizing good – Soft candy made with sugar, eggs, pistachios, honey, and almonds.

These four are supposed to symbolize beggars, represented by four religious orders (Franciscans, Dominicans, Carmelite Nuns, Augustinians):

3. Dried Figs
4. Almonds
5. Hazelnuts or other nuts
6. Dried Grapes

The symbol of Mary and Jesus’ safe journey from the East:

7. Dates

Some of the other desserts eaten, depending on the region, are:

Quince Paste
Calissons d’Aix (almond-paste pastry with sugar icing)
Oil Cake called Fougasse or Pompe à l’huile (made with Orange Flower Water and Olive Oil)

Finally with these desserts, one drinks cooked wine, representing Jesus himself.

One must have a taste of each dessert to have good luck for the whole year.

the thought of 13 desserts is altogether
too much to contemplate this simpler Christmas!



Contact Me!

Kit Golson Design

for elegant, sustainable and pragmatic

Chic Provence Interior Design


  1. A delicious choice.....Have a very happy Christmas and a wonderful New Year, xv.

  2. The Pavlova is so pretty and colorful. i've never heard of this before so I'm intrigued.

  3. .. muy bonito ....¡¡¡¡ Happy Chritsmas ..¡¡¡¡ idea de Berta

  4. Dear Vicki, thanks for visiting! It's always lovely to see you....have a wonderful, magical Christmas and a happy New Year!


  5. Bonjour Bonjour, yes, this dessert really got my attention (I'm going to test run it before, but by all accounts it is very easy to make, and believe it or not, pretty healthy as holiday desserts go!

    Thanks for the visit, and Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to you.


  6. Hello Berta! Thanks so much for visiting and have a lovely holiday! Are you having snow?

    Feliz Navidad/Joyeaux Noel/Merry Christmas!


  7. lovely Pavlova! What a colorful way to dine on Christmas eve.

  8. HI Vintage! Love your blog, thanks for stopping by!

    Merry Christmas!


  9. Fabulous choice, so pretty. My huge sweet tooth like the idea of 13 desserts!
    Thanks for stopping by my blog and your kind comments. it is very much appreciated.
    Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas - it wil certainly be delicious with that Pavlova!

  10. Bonjour, Romance! I know those 13 desserts are quite tempting...but it would honestly take me the rest of the week to find all those things...quince paste, calissons, etc....!

    I really love your blog so it's my pleasure!

    Joyeaux Noel et Bonne Annee!!


  11. What else is there to be said but Sweet perfection. You thrill my dear. A Merry Christmas to you and yours. Every happy to you this season and the year through.
    Warmest regards,

  12. Dear Simone, your kinds words warm my heart this chilly morn! Thanks so much....and ... ahem...I like your steaming post this morning too!

    All the very best for you this Christmas and Happy New Year!



  13. Gorgeous! Merry Christmas, Kit!

  14. Dear Anne,

    Thank you so much for visiting!

    I am a huge fan of your gorgeous watercolors, renderings, artwork and look forward to seeing more in 2010.

    Have a Merry Christmas!


  15. That is a very beautiful Pavlova!

    Thanks for the mention and the link back. Merry Christmas

  16. HI Anne thanks for visiting!! I love your blog and your pavlova! So many of my friend have made it for the first time this Christmas....and loved it!

    All the best to you in the New Year!


  17. Oops! I meant Hi Nate at House of Annie!

  18. I like to prepare cheesecakes on weekend because my friends usually comes to home these days. And i love to know new desserts or news recipes, mainly when i my boyfriend come to my house. He is very happy .

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I would love to hear what you think! merci!


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